Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 12, pp 2663–2673 | Cite as

Estimating photophysiological condition of endosymbiont-bearing Baculogypsina sphaerulata based on the holobiont color represented in CIE L*a*b* color space

  • Takashi Hosono
  • Kazuhiko Fujita
  • Hajime Kayanne
Original Paper


Symbiont-bearing large benthic foraminifers (LBFs) are widely distributed around coral reefs. If the physiological responses of LBFs to environmental changes can be recognized at an individual level, LBFs could serve as highly accurate bioindicators. In this study, chlorophyll a, respiration, and photosynthesis of Baculogypsina sphaerulata individuals were measured, and whether these physiological traits could be estimated based on the color of the holobiont (foraminifera and the diatom symbionts) was examined. Chlorophyll a content was estimated using a* and b* values of holobiont color represented in CIE L*a*b* color space. Photosynthetic performance decreased significantly with increasing whiteness (L*). These results indicated chlorophyll content as well as photosynthetic performance of Baculogypsina could be directly estimated using the holobiont color. The increased whiteness in color and decreased photosynthetic performance were mainly observed under low-light environment, possibly indicating symbiotic algae were shrunk into the central part of the host shell due to prolonged exposure to adverse conditions.


Coral Reef Chlorophyll Content Color Space Photosynthetic Performance Color Palette 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Yoichi Ide and Mina Kinoshita (Ocean Planning Co., Ltd.) for their assistance in conducting field work and to Takashi Nakamura and Yoji Kanda for chrolophyll measurements. We wish to express our appreciation to three anonymous reviewers and Editor Sven Uthicke for their helpful comments to improve this manuscript. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (17740341) and JST/JICA’s Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS, 0808918). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

227_2012_2024_MOESM1_ESM.eps (15.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (EPS 15915 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Hosono
    • 1
  • Kazuhiko Fujita
    • 2
  • Hajime Kayanne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of the RyukyusNishiharaJapan

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